Asbestos is an industrial material commonly associated with construction and shipbuilding. Used for its fire-resistant and insulating properties up until the middle of the 1980s, throughout the course of the twentieth century hundreds of thousands of workers suffered exposure to the substance.
However, to the ignorance of the vast majority of employees during this period, asbestos posed serious health risks. As a result of exposure, particularly repeated exposure over a long period, individuals can develop conditions such as mesothelioma or asbestosis. Sadly, sufferers may not realise they have an asbestos-related disease as initial symptoms often begin to develop decades after their initial exposure.
Although the importation, use, and supply of asbestos is now illegal, this material still claims the lives of approximately 4,000 people annually. According to the NHS, many of those affected were tradesman who experienced exposure in the workplace.
As asbestos was used so extensively throughout the 20th Century, any home constructed or refurbished before the year 2,000 could still potentially contain this material – perhaps in the walls, ceilings, or even under the floors.
Asbestos and vinyl floors
It was in the 1950s that vinyl sheet flooring and floor tiles began to flood the market. This surface proved very popular amongst consumers due to its affordability, durability, and ease of installation. Eventually, vinyl floors were manufactured in a variety of styles, designs, and colours – a move which probably led to this surface becoming even more popular.
However, asbestos was regularly used as a component when manufacturing vinyl floors in order to improve durability and insulation. Although asbestos-containing vinyl became illegal once legislation prevented manufacturers from using this material, many older homes could still contain asbestos vinyl floors.
These surfaces should not pose a danger so long as they are not disturbed. However, if an individual carries out tasks such as cutting, drilling, or ripping out these tiles, asbestos fibres could become airborne – potentially creating a health risk.
Therefore, flooring contractors, carpenters, renovators, or anyone who works with vinyl floors could experience exposure to asbestos fibres. If it can be proven that employers have not taken appropriate steps to ensure the safety of affected workers, it is advisable for any person suffering an asbestos-related illness to contact an asbestos solicitor to find out if they could claim compensation.
Asbestos claims by flooring contractors
If you or a close family member were adversely affected by asbestos while working with vinyl flooring or floor tiles, you may be entitled to receive damages – providing it can be prove that the exposure was the result of another party's negligence.
If your claim is successful, any funds awarded could cover the costs of therapy, rehabilitation, or provide lost earnings in order to make your lifestyle as comfortable as possible.
Seth Lovis & Co have resolved numerous asbestos claims by flooring contractors, and could potentially help you as well. To find out if we can assist you, please contact us on 0370 218 4025 or complete one of our online enquiry forms today.